Clio's Battles

Clio's Battles

Historiography in Practice
Jeremy Black
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/01/2015
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-01675-1
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Description

To write history is to consider how to explicate the past, to weigh the myriad possible approaches to the past, and to come to terms with how the past can be and has been used. In this book, prize-winning historian Jeremy Black considers both popular and academic approaches to the past. His focus is on the interaction between the presentation of the past and current circumstances, on how history is used to validate one view of the present or to discredit another, and on readings of the past that unite and those that divide. Black opens with an account that underscores the differences and developments in traditions of writing history from the ancient world to the present. Subsequent chapters take up more recent decades, notably the post-Cold War period, discussing how different perspectives can fuel discussions of the past by individuals interested in shaping public opinion or public perceptions of the past. Black then turns to the possible future uses of the then past as a way to gain perspective on how we use the past today. Clio’s Battles is an ambitious account of the engagement with the past across world history and of the clash over the content and interpretation of history and its implications for the present and future.

Author Bio

Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is author of many books including War and Technology (IUP, 2013), Fighting for America: The Struggle for Mastery in North America, 1519–1871 (IUP, 2011), and War and the Cultural Turn. Black received the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize from the Society for Military History in 2008.

Reviews

“Remarkable both for its geographical scope and historical scale, and for its command of scholarship on a breathtaking range of subjects. I can't imagine another historian who could attempt such an ambitious work or pull it off with such aplomb.”
 — William Gibson, Oxford Brookes University

“Refreshing . . . Black eschews 'Eurocentricism' and includes considerable material on other areas of the world that one does not usually find in such a work. Typical of Black’s writing, there is much to learn in the numerous small asides throughout the text. Taken together these form an impressive whole.”
 — Spencer C. Tucker, VMI

“In this book, prize-winning historian Jeremy Black considers both popular and academic approaches to the past. His focus is on the interaction between the presentation of the past and current circumstances, on how history is used to validate one view of the present or to discredit another, and on readings of the past that unite and those that divide.”

“Because of the strengths of Clio's Battles, all working academics and graduate students in the discipline should read it. All practicing historians should take Black's views—and his warnings—seriously.”
 — History: Reviews of New Books

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Table of Contents

Preface
1. Introduction: Academic, State, and Public Histories
2. A Selective Narrative to 1650
3. The Long Eighteenth Century
4. The Nineteenth Century
5. The Twentieth Century
6. New States and the Possibilities of Lineage
7. The Historical Dimension of Manifest Destiny
8. Post-Communism and the New History
9. Western Europe
10. Contesting the Past, Claiming the Future
11. Historiographies of the Present
12. Historiographies of the Future
13. A Personal Note
14. Conclusions
Notes
Selected Further Reading
Index